Building Pillars Where Bridges are Easy to Imitate - Mediating Technologies in Knowledge-Based Economies


Guido Fioretti
Stephen K. Kwan
Stefania Niciforo


We carried out a qualitative investigation of a pioneer of the Industrial Internet of Things operating in Silicon Valley since 1989. We reconstructed a sequence of strategic turns and conceptualized their current business model in a way that is relevant for several other industries enabled by the Internet, generalizing Thompson’s concept of mediating technologies in order to adapt it to contemporary, knowledge-based economies. We propose an interpretive framework for mediating technologies that we express by means of semantic networks.


Author Biographies

Guido Fioretti, University of Bologna. Via Zamboni, 33 - 40126 Bologna, Itally

Guido Fioretti, born 1964, graduated in Electronic Engineering and received a PhD in Economics from La Sapienza University in Rome. He is currently an associate professor of Organization Science at the University of Bologna, Italy. His research interests combine social and cognitive sciences in order to model decision-making facing uncertainty. In particular, he is interested in distributed models of organizational decision-making.

Stephen K. Kwan, San José State University, 1 Washington Sq, San Jose, CA 95192, USA

Dr. Stephen K. Kwan is Professor Emeritus in the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business at San José State University, and a fellow of the International Society of Service Innovation Professionals (ISSIP). He is involved in research and community activities in Service Science, Management, Engineering, and Design (SSMED), global E-Commerce, service and AI standards, and standardization. He received a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. in Management from UCLA.

Stefania Niciforo, University of Bologna. Via Zamboni, 33 - 40126 Bologna, Itally

Stefania Niciforo, born 1988, graduated in Business Administration. She received a fellowship in order to write her MSc thesis in Silicon Valley where she interviewed prominent managers, collected information on strategies related to big data and IoT, and attended conferences such as IEEE SIIT 2015, IBM Watson, Samsung Sami and Google IoT Robotic. She is currently working as Team Leader at Instal, an IT company focusing on high-innovation projects.